Bruins

Krejci (maintenance) among the missing from B's practice

Krejci (maintenance) among the missing from B's practice

BRIGHTON, Mass – Zdeno Chara, David Krejci and Steve Kampfer all missed Sunday’s practice as the Bruins kick off a week-plus of preparation ahead of the Stanley Cup Final, but both Chara and Kampfer skated ahead of practice at Warrior Ice Arena.

Krejci was given a maintenance day after the Bruins had both Friday and Saturday off the ice completely, but it still sounds like all three will be good to go once the Stanley Cup Final gets underway against either St. Louis or San Jose.

“It’s a maintenance day for [Krejci], so he should be out there tomorrow. Chara and Kampfer skated before practice, so we’ll see if they get integrated [on Monday],” said Bruce Cassidy. “We’ve kind of set it up so that I don’t believe we’re going to skate on Tuesday. Zee might get back on Wednesday, but I don’t want to push it. He’s a workhorse and we want to get him there as quickly as possible. I suspect they will all be back out there on Wednesday.”

It’s a much less rosy picture for Kevan Miller (knee) and Chris Wagner (right arm), who aren’t looking like the Cup Final is going to be a possibility. Wagner suffered what looked like a significant injury blocking a Justin Faulk shot in the Game 3 over the Hurricanes in Carolina, but Miller hasn’t been able to suit up for even a single playoff game after battling a slew of injuries that limited him to just 39 games played this season.

It’s a difficult situation that hits hard with a good, team-first D-man like the 31-year-old Miller that’s always been a good teammate during his career with the Bruins.

“I feel terrible for him,” said Cassidy. “He’s had a tough year with the injuries.”

Clearly the 10 days off between the conference final and Stanley Cup Final are going to give the Bruins an opportunity to be as healthy as they’ve been through this entire postseason, and that’s something they have already begun taking full advantage of this weekend. Rookies Urho Vaakanainen, Jakub Zboril and Zane McIntyre were all members of the B’s practice as part of the Black Aces crew for the B’s during these playoffs.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings at Sunday’s practice for the Black and Gold:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak
DeBrusk-Kuhlman-Backes
Johansson-Coyle-Heinen
Nordstrom-Kuraly-Acciari

Grzelcyk-McAvoy
Krug-Carlo
Moore-Clifton

Bruins admit challenges to keeping Tuukka in the zone>>>

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Maple Leafs captain John Tavares out for upcoming games vs. Bruins

Maple Leafs captain John Tavares out for upcoming games vs. Bruins

The Bruins have a big week ahead of them with three games against Tampa and Toronto starting with tonight’s tilt against the Lightning at TD Garden, but things just got a little bit easier for them.

The Maple Leafs announced that John Tavares will be out for the next two weeks after suffering a broken finger in Wednesday night’s loss to the Washington Capitals. That means the Leafs captain will be out for both Saturday night’s home tilt against the Bruins and the Tuesday night finale to the home-and-home series at TD Garden.

Tavares has three goals and seven points in eight games thus far this season, but it’s still a massive loss for Toronto even if he isn’t off to the hottest start among Leafs forwards. Unfortunately, it may not be too much of an advantage for the Bruins with top-6 center David Krejci also banged up with an upper body injury and out for at least Thursday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Krejci’s availability for both games against the Maple Leafs is also in question after being forced out of Monday afternoon’s win over the Ducks, and being forced to sit out a divisional game against Tampa Bay tonight.

Tavares had just one goal and two points along with a minus-2 in four games against the Bruins last season, and traditionally it’s been Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner that have done most of the damage offensively vs. the B’s in recent seasons.

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Bruins center David Krejci (upper body) out tonight vs. Lightning

Bruins center David Krejci (upper body) out tonight vs. Lightning

BRIGHTON, Mass. — The Bruins will continue the juggling act that’s been going with David Krejci (upper body) for much of the early season as the top-6 pivot is out for tonight’s important divisional game vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Krejci exited Monday’s win over Anaheim after two shifts in the second period, and then left midway through Wednesday’s practice ahead of the showdown with the Bolts. Krejci’s absence obviously has a cascading effect among the rest of the forwards as Charlie Coyle will be bumped up to second-line center, and Par Lindholm will draw back into the lineup as the third-line center between Danton Heinen and Karson Kuhlman.

Otherwise, second-year D-man Connor Clifton will also come back into the lineup fold for the Bruins vs. Tampa after serving as a healthy scratch while Steve Kampfer replaced him on the B’s back end on Monday.

“I think I had been okay. I hadn’t been at my best. We were winning games and I’m back in tonight. So I’m worrying about that,” said Clifton. “You want to play your best. It’s early and I’m cleaning things up, but I expect to be ready to go tonight.”

Tuukka Rask will get the start in net as Cassidy and Co. may begin deviating from the strict goaltending rotation sooner rather than later with some important games coming back up for the Black and Gold.

Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings with Brett Ritchie serving as a second-line right wing while Anders Bjork continues to tear it up for the Providence Bruins:

FORWARD LINES

Brad Marchand Patrice Bergeron David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk Charlie Coyle Brett RItchie
Danton Heinen Par Lindholm Karson Kuhlman
Joakim Nordstrom Sean Kuraly Chris Wagner

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS

Zdeno Chara Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk Connor Clifton

GOALIE

Tuukka Rask

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